When Neil Gaiman selected Porter Square Books to sell tickets to his only local reading for his new book, the Cambridge store decided not to take any online or phone orders. “We wanted to let our local community get a shot at the tickets,” said Ellen Jarrett, the store’s events and publicity manager, citing Gaiman’s loyalty to his fans and community. “He just keeps so grounded and in touch with his people,” she explained — whether through social media (Gaiman, going by @neilhimself, is a Twitter sensation with more than 1,800,000 followers) or by patronizing stores like hers. “We’re his local bookstore,” she points out, as the author and his wife, writer/musician Amanda Palmer, live in Cambridge.
His fans responded. On June 18, the release date of Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane,” and the day on which tickets became available, Jarrett said, “we had about 75 people lined up when I got here at 6 in the morning.”